There’s no doubt that wellbeing in the workplace represents huge business in the current climate, as part of a wider, global wellness economy that was valued at $4.5 trillion in 2018.
Interestingly, however, this sum is barely more than half of total global health expenditures ($7.8 trillion), suggesting that more may be to come in the quest to drive physical and mental wellbeing as a way of proactively reducing health costs.
Given the amount of time we spend in the office, workplace wellbeing is a particularly important consideration. But how can you optimise the wellbeing of employees in your business?
- Bring the Outside in
While the concept of ‘bringing the outside in’ may be considered by some to be a domestic interior design trend, it’s also becoming increasingly commonplace in the workplace.
This is thanks to the findings of various global studies, which have revealed that a visible connection to nature alone is enough to reduce workplace stress (which is linked directly to an individual’s wellbeing).
One particular study carried out by the Human Spaces Globe Report found that respondents who worked in environments with natural elements reported a 15% higher level of wellbeing overall. A 6% hike in productivity levels was also discovered, along with a huge 15% increase in creativity.
So, workplaces may well benefit from introducing plants into their interiors, while the integration of ‘greenery with a purpose’ (which can include everything from a full indoor garden to edible plants) could prove even more advantageous over time.
- Delivering Fresh Food and Fruits
If your office space features a canteen or vending machines, we’d wager that these aren’t necessarily stocked with the freshest or healthiest food items.
This has much to do with cost considerations, of course, but there’s no doubt that the integration of fresh and healthy foods alongside a higher proportion of fruit and vegetables can have a highly positive impact on your employees’ wellbeing.
From a practical perspective, healthier snack items such as bananas are capable of providing slow-release energy throughout the day, fuelling your employees’ efforts and maintaining optimal productivity levels on a consistent basis.
This can make a significant difference to the health and output of your staff members, while potentially altering their eating habits for the better over an extended period of time.
- Encouraging Physical Exercise (In or Out of the Office)
For years now, employers have paid far greater attention to the physical wellbeing of their staff, with this being borne out by cycle to work initiatives and the changing nature of employee benefits.
The former creates tangible incentives for employees who regularly cycle to the office, for example, whereas the latter includes discounted gym memberships with local outlets and service providers.
In Japan, corporations have begun to push beyond these measures in recent times, thanks largely to the prevailing philosophy of ‘kaizen’ (or continual improvement). More specifically, they’ve created viable workout spaces for employees within the office, while even scheduling exercise programs and classes during work hours.
While this may seem radical, you can start small simply by reviewing your employee benefits package and creating a multi-use space for basic workouts. If the latter isn’t possible, focus on implementing cycle to work initiatives and similar schemes that actively incentivise employees to keep fit on a daily basis.